SEMA Show Attracts 140,000-plus Attendees to Las Vegas Convention Center
By Stephanie Selesnick
The SEMA Show, organized by the Specialty Equipment Market Association, filled the Las Vegas Convention Center last week from Nov. 4-7.
It attracted more than 140,000 qualified trade attendees from 130 countries, used 1.13 million net square feet of exhibit space (indoors and outside), showcased 2,400+ exhibitors (550 new ones), was covered by over 3,500 international media and had 1.500 vehicles on display.
Some of the more popular areas were two outside demonstration tracks, SEMA Central, an interactive and branded area in the Central Lobby, featuring smart wall technology complete with 16-foot tall simulated engine, and the new product showcase featuring more than 2,000 products.
As a way of driving traffic to the New Products Area, the SEMA App contained photos of all the new products including company information.
Ranked one of the largest trade exhibitions in the country, last year SEMA chose to bring all operations and registration functions in house and worked hard with their partner-suppliers to make the show successful.
Show management went so far as to invite all to Camp SEMA to learn about the industry, exhibition and do some bonding with the new team.
With 80 percent of exhibitors in 20x20’s or less, management includes up to 500 lbs. of material handling per booth.
Early estimates had 8.4 million pounds of freight moved into the convention center. Exhibitors also were able to attend the SEMA Summit, a two-day exhibitor educational workshop held in Las Vegas earlier in the year, around the time of the space draw.
Changes this year included: moving all registration to the Westgate (formerly LVH), closing the Silver Circle Drive; expanding exhibits and the Discovery Channel studio to a large tent in the Gold Lot, and launching SEMA Ignited, a place for fans to see the custom vehicles up close post exhibition at the Linq and film a television show about it.
Since 2011, the show has closed with the sponsored SEMA Cruise – a parade of all 1,500 custom vehicles used as displays, which depart the Convention Center and drive down Paradise Road. Over half of the cars went to the Linq, the rest proceeded down Paradise Blvd. to the Westgate.